When you are building a performance car for racing or show, finding a way to ensure all the performance parts are working together and you are getting the most power from your engine is sometimes challenging. Taking your car to a shop that offers dyno tuning is a good place to start and is often the best way to see what is working and what needs fine-tuning.
Understanding Dyno Tuning
Dyno tuning uses a large machine called a dynamometer to determine the engine power, torque output, and general performance of your vehicle. The dyno connects to your car in several places and has several large rollers that the tires sit on. When the engine is running, the rollers allow you to accelerate through the gears and read the peak power output of the car at the rear wheels.
The computer on the dyno collects data from the engine, ECU (electronic control unit), and other sensors on the vehicle. The information allows the dyno tuning tech to determine where adjustments can be made to increase the power output or help refine the drivability of the vehicle.
Using the data from several dyno runs allows fine-tuning of the fuel map, the air through the mass airflow sensor, and other things like turbo boost pressure to ensure everything is working together correctly. The result is an engine that will produce the highest potential power output with the installed components and still be reliable and fun to drive.
Dyno Tuning For Racing
Many times cars that are built specifically for racing spend a lot of time on the dyno before they go to the track. Dyno tuning for race cars is often slightly different because the car needs to make the maximum horsepower possible and is not typically driven on the street, so the engine can be tuned differently.
Because the car is trailered to the track and only needs to idle from the pit to the starting line, most race-tuned engines are intentionally running on the ragged edge of performance. Many times the dyno tuning tech has every component maxed out to ensure that nothing is stopping the vehicle from going as fast as possible during an event.
The dyno tuning must be done carefully to ensure that the engine is not damaged during the tuning process. If the tech puts too much stress on the engine, the result could be a blown engine or some internal damage that could be catastrophic and require the entire engine to be removed and rebuilt.